When you look into the face of a happy child, it's hard not to see the good in life. But with the good often comes the bad. Learning to cope with sad or upsetting news is part of growing up.
So how do you handle it when, say, the beloved pet turtle heads up to the big turtle box in the sky? Do you sit your child down and have a heart-to-heart about death and loss? Do you make up a story about old Woody going back to live with his turtle family in the woods? Or do you avoid the topic altogether and haul tail to the nearest pet store for a replacement reptile?
Now what if it's something more serious, like the death of a grandparent or a close friend? When my nephew was 5, one of his favorite uncles passed away. My brother and sister-in-law decided not to let him attend the open-casket funeral because they were afraid it would traumatize him. At what age do you think a child is emotionally mature enough to handle such a thing?
Photo by Flickr member wwootton, used under a Creative Commons License.